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GEORGE SMITHERMAN THE MAN

THE FATHER

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LETTERS MARCHING ON

I intorontomag.com PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Gordon Bowness CREATIVE MARKETING DIRECTOR

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OUR MISSION Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life to the fullest. Expand the gay and lesbian community by valuing diversity and individual choice. Celebrate Toronto. Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment. ADVERTISING & OTHER INQUIRIES

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n Paul Gallant’s story on Pride Toronto,

acts like Cyndi Lauper attract the tourists (and tourism funding) which has allowed Pride to nurture smaller niche efforts like the Trans March, now in its second year.” With all due respect, this comment is way, way out of touch with year without the endorsement, help or even authorization of Pride Toronto. If Pride Toronto hadn’t claimed it, the march would have happened anyway. At this moment the Trans March is still a political statement on the lack of awareness and care for the reality of trans individuals as symbolized by the above statement. NATALIE PETITE Toronto, ON

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oved a story, or did you hate it? We got something wrong? You like what we’re doing? Let us know. Send us your letter to: Letters to the editor, In Toronto magazine, 348A Queen St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 2A2; or email us at editorial@intorontomag.com. You can also respond online at intorontomag.com. We value your feedback.

Patricia Salib

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THI S I SSU E CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau

CONTRIBUTORS Alun Bowness, Nicola Betts, Anna von Frances, Jamie Kennedy, Peter Knegt,

Keith Loukes, Max MacDonald, Glenn Mackay, Michael Pihach, David Rayside, Adam Segal, Richard Silver, Michael Thorner, Chris Tyrell

ON THE COVER

Photo by Glenn Mackay

CORRECTIONS

C

raig Carty is director, Centre for Health Promotion, University of Fort Hare and University of Pennsylvania Joint Projects. And Downtown Soccer Toronto was established in 2004. Incorrect information appeared in our sports series last issue.


NOw OVER 50% SOLD. new release of terrace suites. Glenn Mackay

City Hall MAYORAL CANDIDATE GEORGE SMITHERMAN by Paul Gallant

Red Carpet XAVIER DOLAN AT TIFF

Jo Dickins

FEEDBACK

CONTENTS

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INSIGHT

TalkExchange

Founded in 1989, the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life is one of the largest AIDS fundraising events in Canada, raising more than $8.5 million. In Toronto, the AIDS Walk supports the work of the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT); $330,000 is the goal this year. Held Sun, Sep 19, Toronto’s 5km route starts at Church and Alexander, heads north through Cawthra Square Park and the AIDS Memorial to Bloor, over to Yonge, down to Queen St, and back. There’s a community fair on Church from 11am to 6pm and entertainment from 3pm to 6pm. For more info or to make a donation go to aidswalktoronto.ca.

How Tweet It Is Life’s a grind, baby and short, stout and thin, muscular and buttery are all locked together side-by-side in a seemingly end-

John Webster

simplicity of the app is the allure:

I

t is no secret that Facebook and Twitter have, in only three short years, transformed the way our society communicates and shares information. But there are so many other applications and tools at your disposal to interact with the rest of the world. If you have an iPhone (and now a BlackBerry), chances are good you have heard about or have down-

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loaded Grindr onto your phone. A geo-social networking application for the gay and bisexual demographic, it essentially uses a smart phone’s GPS to provide you with the proximity of the closest fellow user. Big brother technology at its creepiest, or a stroke of genius by the developers? Grindr is essentially a societal grand-leveller: old and young, tall

the photo of the user, age/height/ weight information, proximity, and if the user is online. If yes, a chat exchange may ensue in real time. If you don’t see any prospective matches displayed, you need only “load more guys,” a catch phrase that has become a running joke in many social circles. Not posting a face photo negates a block button to deny access to any time wasters. If you have the app, you are gay or bi. It is -

descriptions online. It does seem to support the notion that many do judge a book by its cover, but that is a weak conceit, given the power the tool has to deliver convenient connections between men. Is Grindr just the new hook-up technology? Perhaps, but like any other technology, it is all in how seemingly endless. As always, how you portray yourself is a determining factor — nudity is prohibited on Grindr. Your next pick-up may be just around the corner, but so may your next friend, network colleague, roommate, lover or life partner. ■ MICHAEL THORNER

tweets at twitter.com/michaelthorner.


INSIGHT

“A

In their own words

iconic: the telephone booth, the double-decker bus and the Queen’s Guard’s hat. We can’t mess it up.’ Toronto lesbian who has dressed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera is trying to protect Canadian bears from the Queen. Earlier this summer, fashion designer Atom Cianfarani met with

for defence equipment, sup-

port and technology, to pitch her latest design, a faux-bearskin version of the Queen’s Guard’s hat, to replace the ones currently used which are made from Canadian bear famed designer Stella McCartney, is being funded by a UK chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Aside from saving bears (“It takes two small bears

to make one hat,” says Cianfarani), a faux-fur guard’s hat is cheaper to produce, lighter in weight and part of the fashion industry”). Cianfarani lives in NYC where she is a pioneer in using ecofriendly textiles on the runways. atomsdream.weebly.com. ■

by Michael Pihach

als who attended at least three committee meetings, three general meetings, worked at least eight volunteer hours, Pride employees, or those approved for membership by the board) if Pride should continue producing an ever-bigger, corporately-funded festival?

RYAN LESTER “Through the increasing participation of

CRYSTAL MOORE

the community, Pride has become such a large and expensive event. I think Pride Toronto should continue to produce an event

a 30-year celebration of Canadian queer victories? However, funding is required to remain one of the world’s largest Prides — a

and free events need public, corporate and earned revenue sources. Fortunately, community members in allied companies drive corporate support that helps make Pride Week possible.”

of those globally without a voice. I’d be ecstatic if attendees donated enough ($2) to sustain Pride as is. Unfortunately, there are not enough donations, so corporatization is essential.”

ROY MITCHELL “It is inevitable that Pride will continue to be big. Keep

in mind that you can’t please all the people all of the time. Therefore, it’s very important now for Pride to focus on who to please and who it is for.

no money. It’s a state of mind, not an intersection at Church and Wellesley. Whoville celebrated even after the Grinch took all their toys away.”

“We’ve done our best with co-chairs who have had a strong vision for the festival, ideas that the organization and community can be excited by and rally around. At the same time, we’ve been hurt by private agendas and a lack of forthright communication. I’m hoping lead positively.”

JARED BREEN ”I am neither for nor against corporatization.

Pride in Toronto has grown so much in the last 30 years that corporate sponsorship has become necessary in order to meet the ever-growing demand of the public. That said, if all festival attendees donated to the Twoonie Drive, corporate sponsorship would not be necessary.”

intorontomag.com

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INSIGHT

P   

Head of the household

Can George Smitherman bring order to City Hall’s dysfunctional family? by Paul Gallant • photo by Glenn Mackay

A

midst a suburban jumble of apartment towers, poorly-maintained green spaces and parking lots, George Smitherman is giving style advice to junk-food-munching Scarberian youth. “Don’t eat too much sugar or you’re going to get a big tummy like me,” he tells one tween attending Scarborough Village’s summer festival. He points at another young man’s bright green shoe laces. “You should wear purple. Purple’s the colour.” Looking at him, Smitherman does not remotely resemble a shiny metrosexual spreading the gospel of downtown fabulousness beyond the subway date in Toronto’s fall mayoral race has

with the Liberal Party for his own bold shade of purple, a colour today manifested in his not particularly well-

hospital administrators or NIMBY types who didn’t want to live too close to the wind turbines that were integral to his green energy plan. With Smitherman vying for a chance Toronto voters are left to wonder if a man who was known for playing rough in hockey and in government has the paternal side necessary to preside over the seemingly hopeless cause of City Hall. While providing a foil to councilSmitherman’s best chance to show that he’s developed a softer touch, it’s on the home front he’s getting his real training. Within a month of leaving Queen’s Park, he and husband Christopher Peloso brought home a baby, Michael, now 21 months, they Talking about his son, Smitherman sounds more like a straight 1950s bread-earner than a 2010 gay co-parent.

of his runners. Out here in the ’burbs, this little guy, he was in my lap at my coach handshakes do not read as gay at all. For those who have not paid attention to his political career — he went public in 1999, becoming Ontario’s guy who can, with classic baby-kissing body. He knows his name in Chinese, pats seniors on their backs and nods sympathetically when a bearded man

says Smitherman. “I had a couple of tening at the door to make sure he’s that he’s not going away. If I’m honest

family together.

B

orn the youngest of four children, Smitherman grew up playing hockey in Centennial Park; for a while, his father’s trucking business sponsored the team. At Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute he won the school council presidency with — he says as proudly as if it had happened last week — 87 percent of the

in 1979, at age 15, to hear Pierre Elliott Trudeau speak is an integral part of his personal mythology, the epiphany that brought him into the Liberal Party faithful. It was also in Etobicoke that he became friends with Richard Maeda, who became his partner in the photo developing business that they ran for almost a decade on Church St. “He wasn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves,” says Maeda, who still hangs out with Smitherman. “He’s a passionate guy. If things aren’t going his way, he’s going to be more upset than other people, but he’s also a good listener.” Smitherman’s use of illegal party drugs while he was working in the Church-Wellesley village has also become an unwitting part of his

Peloso has gradually gotten used to the falling-asleep-on-the-couch life of starting a family on the limited income of a mayoral candidate (that is, none) and a paternity leave — hubbie doesn’t changes as many diapers as he can, but the lessons he draws from fatherhood are mostly political ones. “Now that I have the little guy, I’m pushing a stroller. Well, pushing a stroller tells you a lot about pavement,” he says. “As someone who’s run a marathon, I rollerblade, ride bikes on the pavement — when it’s just about me, it’s no big deal. Now I’m pushing a stroller across streetcar tracks, rough pavement, and if the kid’s not strapped in properly, you could lose him. You ent way.” Bill Graham, a former federal Smitherman during a political campaign back in the 1980s, says the mayoral candidate earned his reputation as an aggressive person back when he was younger. “I think George is a lot softer around the edges now,” says Graham. “But I don’t think he’s going to persuade people by schmoozing them. George isn’t by Paul Gallant going to prevail by charm. He’s going to prevail by energy and determination.”

Can George Smitherman bring order to City Hall’s dysfunctional family?

plastic bag fee. For more than a decade Smitherman has played “Uncle George” to Dalton McGuinty’s “Premier Dad.” McGuinty was the smiling architect of Ontario’s reinvigorated nanny state while Smitherman was the pit bull who made a lot of it happen. As deputy premier, health minister and energy and infrastructure minister, he seemed to take a perverse pleasure in winding his opponents into a frenzy, whether they were 10

september 2010

the beginning.” It hasn’t been the best time to juggle fatherhood and work. In the summertime polls, Smitherman’s been trailing Ford, a candidate who makes Mel Lastman look like Nelson Mandela. Smitherman and Ford are both loudmouthed hardasses but, unlike Ford, Smitherman isn’t interested in tapping into vigilante fantasies of voters. For all his bluster, he considers himself a bridge-builder, someone who can tranerning the city’s operation to get things done. But he has less than two months to convince voters that underneath his

confession at CAMH’s Courage to Come Back Awards was an emotional and controversial one, Smitherman now casually describes his pre-married life as “the world’s longest bachelor party.” He’s moved on. He and Peloso, a manager at Lindt and Sprüngli, tied the knot in 2007. For their third anniversary last month, the all-male family went to Smitherman’s mother’s farm on Georgian Bay. Swimming was as wild as it got. “Normally, I would have played some golf and tennis up there but when Michael’s awake, it’s all about him,” says Smitherman.

seat is Smitherman’s to lose, he’s as stumped as anybody else about why the man would leave a bigger, more comfortable pond for a smaller more unruly one. Smitherman himself has his own theory, which sounds just about right. “I’m a contrarian,” he says. “People think the city’s ungovernable, that [the mayor’s job] is a horrible job. I want to make the job look like a job worth having.” ■


Candidacies

by Krishna Rau

George Smitherman

“The lessons that I learn, that maybe I am more sensitive to as a gay person, have applications for other communities, too,” Smitherman said in 2005, while health minister of Ontario. Smitherman’s political experience may be his Achilles’ heel. He’s still living down the provincial government’s e-health funding scandal that occurred largely on his watch as health minister. But with a well-earned reputation as an “attack dog,” Smitherman may be the aggressive voice Toronto needs. His platform tends to the predictable. He’s pledgand emergency services, parks and recreation, and garbage collection and recycling incentives. He also says he wants to cut $2 million from the budgets of the mayor and councillors.

Rob Ford

“If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably, that’s bottom line. These are the facts,” Ford said in 2006. Coupled with his recent opposition to same-sex marriage and immigration during the campaign and his claim that Toronto police were “too nice” to G20 protestors, the long-time Etobicoke councillor’s history of antagonizing the gay community is seen as a sign of But Ford is riding high outside of downtown, and his focussing on the fundamentals, reducing waste and eliminating unnecessary taxes.” He has also vowed to cut city council in half and dislikes bike lanes.

Joe Pantalone

Give the man credit. Handing out condoms emblazoned with “Not Your Average Joe” at this year’s Pride was a stroke of genius. His campaign claims prophylactic against diseases like rampant privatization, service cuts, transit delays and divisive politics.” But another quote Pantalone is fond of, from the Burt Lancaster movie The Leopard — “Things have to change in order for them to stay the same,’ which can be said about politics,” he told Eye Weekly — points out his problem. Pantalone has been a deputy mayor under David Miller, and may be seen as too closely linked to the current mayor. Still, Pantalone has a sterling record on environmental issues, and is also pushing food and nutrition programs.

Keith Cole

-

“For the last six years I have felt that this city has been nothing but a long, dry hack of a cough,” the performance artist and promoter said at his campaign launch. Cole has virtually no chance, but as anyone who’s seen him perform — and in so doing, probably seen far more of Cole than they may have wanted — knows, he does know how to entertain. And in so doing, Cole may actually draw attention to some serious issues, especially municipal funding of the arts. Cole is also pushing more civic engagement from the city’s populace, and is a huge supporter of making Toronto more bike-friendly. ■


INSIGHT

       

Working the festival

Richard Bell is keen to milk TIFF’s Talent Lab for all its worth by Gordon Bowness

is surprisingly ambitious in terms of story and emotional reach, and in terms who he roped in. Made on a shoestring budget of $800,000, Bell cast stars like Alan Cumming and Ian McKellen (McKellen’s voice, at least) alongside young Canadian talent like Paul Anthony, Carly Pope and Brendan Fletcher. He even got Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Bramwell Tovey to compose and conduct the symphonic score (which garnered a Genie nomination).

Two Brothers, released in 2000 and made for an

Festival gives Bell a great platform to strut his Talent Lab, a four-day intensive workshop program. “I’ve been to TIFF many times before,” says Bell. “I trained to sneak into all the parties. the Talent Lab is like an allaccess festival pass. It’s great having a ‘legitiINSIDE THE mate’ reason to be FILM FEST there.” Read Richard Bell’s In addition to TIFF blog at adapting the Joanne Proulx intorontomag.com novel Anthem of beginning a Reluctant Prophet Thu, Sep 9 (“I love it. It’s a modern day Catcher in the Rye”) for

day in his life was when he saved the president’s life.” Bell has taken that disheartening story and injected some humour into it. “We go inside his head where he imagines all sorts of wonderful things, like befriending the president or going to Studio 54 with Betty.” With his script in tow, Bell is keen to work the festival. He repeatedly uses a phrase that captures the quixotic nature of film development: “You have to get closer to the luck.” But Bell says he doesn’t work the parties as much as he used to, like when he campaigned to get Eighteen made. “I’m no longer that fearless rascal. What’s charming at 25 is not really appropriate at 35. And, anyway, people take my calls, now. If I can get the line out that I’ve made a film with Alan Cumming and Ian McKellen, people can see that I’m real.” He does admit, however, to the possibility of getting tongue-tied. “I’d stammer if I met Harrison Ford, ’cause then I’d be a five-year-old boy talking to Han Solo, or to Patrick Stewart, ’cause then I’d be a 19-year-old talking to Captain Picard.” ■

Tallulah Photography

R

producer Michel Shane, Bell is currently shopping around his script, Nobody, based on the true story of the man who saved US president Gerald Ford’s life in 1975. After disarming a woman who shot at the president, the Vietnam vet with post-traumatic stress disorder was hailed as a hero… until it was discovered, and blared in the media, that he -

MAKE IT POP

As he shops his script, Nobody,

his debut feature, Eighteen. RICHARD BELL richardbellmovies.com.


INSIGHT

              

“Love duel” Xavier Dolan, the press and his new film by Peter Knegt

X

avier Dolan doesn’t like giving interviews. It’s only been 18 months since he

nity with his directorial debut, I Killed My Mother, and interviews have been his least favourite part of what’s come with it. “It’s not that I hate the actual interviews,” he says. “I just hate speaking about myself, and speak-

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example, I did probably a hundred exhausting, and not necessarily interesting.” ing about his job is what happens before the interviews. “I mean, that’s an obvious thing to say,” he says. “But I love to write, edit, design costumes, talk with the artistic director, scout locations, shoot, rehearse.… All

these creative steps stimulate me and give me energy. And when a movie comes out, I’m already fed up with it. I’m already ready for something else.” Despite his distaste for the process, Dolan is actually a charming interview subject. Obviously passionate about his craft, and wise well beyond his 21 years, he exudes an anxious warmth with every sentence and gesture. And he seems quite pleased with his

imaginaires), which had its world premiere in Cannes this past May to glowing reviews, grabbing the Regards Jeunes prize. It screens at the Toronto International Film Festival this month.

not really a love triangle because there’s a dead angle in the threeway relationship), and is quick to


INSIGHT

train going back and forth from Montreal when he attended last year’s TIFF. And while he doesn’t qualities to attending them, which he has done time and time again “My favourite part has been meeting people,” Dolan says. “Actors, actresses, directors… and us talking about creative aspects of the industry, our projects, or even just about cinema. It’s these conversations that make a festival not become a pain in the ass. Meeting tival, these unexpected events, like having a beer with Benicio Del Toro and going clubbing with him. Not so magical for Dolan is his have certainly featured gay characters (including both the characters he has portrayed), but he’s quick

OBSESSION

imaginaires), the story of two friends consumed by their love for the same man (Niels Schneider, above).

“It’s not the same mandate,” he says. “It’s not the same mission. If you cried in I Killed My Mother because it’s your story or whatever, it’s probably not going to ie’s less emotional. It’s lighter. I mean, it’s supposed to be a tragedy. And some moments are tragic… but overall, it’s lighter. And I’m conscious that some people might like I Killed My Mother for certain reasons and then might

ent. It’s not a sequel.” While Dolan’s wide-ranging ilar (directing, writing, acting, even marketing design), I Killed My Mother shares little with autobiographical story of a teenage boy’s tempestuous relationship with his mother; the latter is the story of a friendship unravelling. It follows Francis (Dolan),

a soft-spoken man essentially attached at the hip to his best relationship enters a new realm when they encounter Nicolas, a traveller who needs a place to stay (played by Niels Schneider, who had a small role in Mother as Dolan’s lover when attending a boarding school). Inviting him into their world, Francis and Marie both immediately become consumed with Nicolas.

He questions what kind of world creates such a designation as “gay director.” “It’s a movie, and I’m a director,” he says. “Is Brad Pitt a heterosexual actor? Is Oliver Stone a heterosexual director? Obviously, but maker? It’s an anti-evolutionary approach. We should stop labelling things and ghettoizing things. It’s a black director or a female director, as opposed to what, a white, straight male from the United States? I’m not sure that

“I’d rather have a mind like Gus Van Sant as the standard,” says Dolan with a smile. ■ HEARTBEATS has its English Canada premiere on Tue, Sep 14 and 15 at TIFF

TIFF Bell Lightbox beginning Thu, Sep 23.

intorontomag.com

15


L I V I N G & H E A LT H

OpenHouse

In a narrow, wedge-shaped neighbourhood sandwiched between railway tracks, a former factory is now a sleek, by Gordon Bowness • photos by Wonder Inc and Nicola Betts

How different were your initial ideas for the space to the ones architects Jason Halter and Anita Matusevics (Wonder Inc) and Anthony Provenzano came up with? What did they see that you didn’t? I went into the purchase of the building very naively. I thought I could get away with a fresh coat of white paint because it already had a loft where I could sleep, and some plumbing roughed in for a But the place was cold in the winter, and hot as hell in the summer. drafty old factory windows, leaking skylights and doors, includ16

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ing a 12 by 12-foot garage door, and an unsuitable industrial furnace. In making the place more new interior walls with six inches of insulation around the entire Inc really helped shape the vision of the place into something clean be replaced as well. (Another surprise!) But in the end that was an aesthetic blessing — it allowed us to expose the beautiful ceiling beams. Jason talked me out of a glass garage door, instead designing me two huge front doors that would still accommodate large

pleasing as well. Toughest decision? Replacing the roof. It was only four years old, but it was tar and gravel and had deteriorated quickly. It’s a huge roof and that gobbled up a good chunk of my budget. But I couldn’t have a leaky roof that could damage all the new work I was going to do inside. And redoing the roof let me add the roof hatch and another huge skylight over the dining area. Why did you go that extra mile and install a green roof designed by previous owner Terry McGlade? When I bought the building I tried

to barter art to lower the purchase price. Terry, a former video artist himself, knew my work and was interested in owning something. But he was buying another building and needed cash. So he told me if I wanted a green roof he would barter that for art. Oddest design element? when this place was an aluminum factory. Now I use it to hang a bubble chair. Cheapest necessity? the loft. I don’t have to look at my junk anymore. It holds art supplies, tools, costumes, videotapes, laundry…. Storage was one of my top pri-


orities. Jason also helped design a tall storage space behind my painting wall that can accommodate huge paintings and the like. Again, I don’t have to look at stacks of stretchers and frames. I’ve even got my 30-foot element that didn’t cost a fortune contractor Steve Harris had a buddy with the grinding equipment, so in tion to a really rough and pitted con-

coloured agregate stone... it looks like terrazzo. Do you ever feel lost in this huge, 280-square-metre space?

here is lofty and open (16 feet!) which is psychologically uplifting and inspiring. One of the main reasons I bought the place. A gay, modernist art palace has appeared in the midst of row houses, mechanics’ shops and industrial spaces near Bloor and Lansdowne. What do your neighbours think? Well I think most are happy because I am increasing the value of the neighbourhood. And Terry’s three big trucks are gone. I am a quiet neighbour… mostly. How often do you smell choco-

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late from the Nestlé factory down the road? Depends on the direction of the wind. But I go by it almost every day and I’m lucky it’s a chocolate factory and not an abattoir or something toxic How much of this place is an expression of your flamboyant and feisty alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle? Not much because she lives in the 19th century and is an anti-modernist. If I’d let her decorate I’d be tains and antique furniture. taining. What has been the most outrageous event you will admit to hosting? A gay stag hosted by myself and David Furnish for mutual friends Damon d’Oliveria and Maxime Desmons. One of the many highlights of the evening was watching my guests’ surprise and confusion when the “cop” who interrupted the I can’t say more because I signed a What book from your collection do you most reference? Tough call but probably Eugene Delacroix’s journal, and monographs by George Catlin and eared and well enjoyed. Artists you most admire? See above and add Albert Bierstadt and Francis Bacon, Goya, Tiepolo, Cocteau, Bette Davis, Liz Taylor, Stravinsky, Beethoven

contemporary artists, but I love Peter Doig, Jimmie Durham, Guy Maddin, Russian video collective AES&F, Marina Abramovi , Attila Richard Lukacs, Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, Pierre et Gilles, Snow, Bill Viola, Tomson Highway Warhol and Damien Hirst. Artists you least admire? Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst. ■ For info on KENT MONKMAN ’s current shows check out his website kentmonkman.com and those of his dealers, stephenfriendman.com,


Relationship Advice

The dish A celebration of tomatoes

WITH ADAM SEGAL

Recipe by Jamie Kennedy

“In August, I cut into my first tomato of the year. It is an annual ritual. Each year I am gobsmacked by the beauty of local heirloom tomatoes. So many shapes, sizes and colours. Then I cut into one. It is like a painting inside. The lines and colours are arrestingly beautiful. Now I bite into a slice. The texture and sweetness and aroma all converge in a wonderful sensual experience. Again I am reminded how enjoying a tomato, like so many other fruits and vegetables, in season, is the way to go.” Jo Dickins

NOTHING LIKE IT

Fresh tomatoes from Jamie Kennedy’s farm in Prince Edward

For the dressing

2 egg yolks 1 tbsp/15 ml fresh lemon juice 1 tsp/5 ml white wine vinegar 1 tsp/5 ml Dijon mustard 2 tbsp/30 ml fresh basil leaves 2 tbsp/30 ml whipping cream Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the celery root

½ cup/120 ml julienne of celery root Salt to taste

For the tomatoes varieties 12 fresh cherry tomatoes 12 arugula leaves Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Use a food processor to make the dressing. Process egg yolks, lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Add basil leaves and continue son with salt and pepper. Trickle in cream. Set aside. Heat oil to 325 F/165 C in a small saucepan. Fry celery root until crispy and golden. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon. Season with salt. Reserve on a paper towel. Wash tomatoes and slice into thick rounds. Season with salt and pepper and place on a tray. Presentation: Pour a little pool of dressing on each of six plates. Arrange tomato slices. Sprinkle with fried celery root. Garnish with arugula leaves. Serves six.

GILEAD CAFÉ AND BISTRO 4 Gilead Place. (647) 288-0680. jamiekennedy.ca.

I’m a 38-year-old male and I’m suffering from erectile problems. I’m so anxious during sex and feel like I’m being judged about my size and am worried I’m not a good lover. I’m able to get myself off fine — but getting an erection and climaxing with another guy feels nearly impossible. Do you have any advice? John in Etobicoke

E

njoying and getting a sense

requires that we are actually present for it. Very often erectile problems are propelled by anxiety. Being trapped in our heads during

passionate or arousing. Next time you’re rolling around in the hay, try to focus on the physical sensations of what’s happening — literally paying attention to his breath on your neck or his hands on your chest. Each time you notice yourself drifting into thoughts like “He’s going to be grossed out by my love handles” or “When is the next season of Weeds starting?” gently bring your attention back to the task at hand. their sexuality tend to be through sexual play with other peers — emphasis on the word play. It seems that when we grow up, we put tons of pressure on ourselves to perform and ultimately we ditch the play of sex. Find out if your partner would be okay to approach sex, even once, without the end-goal of orgasm. Agree to approach each other full of curiosity and with zero expectations. Another idea: Have your guy enter the bedroom only once you have begun masturbating, helping you get more comfortable with him seeing you hard and turned on. size queens and kings out there who drool at the thought of a huge penis, but there are likely just as more on the temperature of the sexual connection than the number of inches. Mainstream porn

claiming a 10-inch wand create an illusion that most guys are walking around with a third leg. Rihanna whining “Come here rude boy, is you big enough?” really doesn’t help matters. Take a good look at yourself to see if this sense of not measuring up predates your sexually active adulthood. Usually, esteem problems start in childhood or adolescence. For queer folks, childhood can be saddled with a sense of being “other” which can erode esteem on top of all the regular your size is likely not about that at “wrong” with you one week is your cock size and the next it’s your lack thinking that you are a problem to begin with. Sometimes we can be fooled into believing that criticizing ourselves will improve us and our lives — more often it pummels our self-image and makes us miserable. Make it your mission to radically accept yourself in every way: you navigate sex without losing yourself or your woody. applies to everything north of the neck. Your struggle could stem from a physical issue so it’s always a good idea to rule out any medical libido, ability to orgasm and overall sexual health by paying a visit to a doctor or sexual health clinic. ■ Writer and therapist ADAM SEGAL works in private parctice in downtown Toronto • Ask him your relationship or mental health question at relationship@intorontomag.com.

intorontomag.com

19


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L I V I N G & H E A LT H

 

Get on the list Film fest style advice by Max MacDonald

S

ing at the Toronto International Film Festival dying to see Angelina Jolie. Your “friend” couldn’t get you into the gala, the publicist hung up on you and there are burly bounc-

Accessorize

thumb is to always look like you belong on the list.

ardent movie fans besiege the Four Seasons Hotel clad in is a cornucopia of really bad fashion choices. How do you expect to make it past

Stylishly hide your TIFF gear with Matt and Nat’s Aphex knapsack made with their signature vegan leather and canvas ($123). Available: mattandnatt.com.

Abercrombie shirt and plaid shorts, juggling your iPhone and Starbucks? If you look like a fan you’ll be treated like one, so separate yourself from the fray.

you from summer to fall. Here’s one that, look this hot, the last thing you should do is jump up and down on a planter screaming, “Angie, I love you. I’m on Facebook.”

The Look:

Joe Mimran of Joe Fresh, Canada’s under$100 leader, sent this look down the runway for fall 2010. Perfect for Angie’s entourage. What he`s wearing: faux fur peacoat ($99), buttondown shirt ($29), wool slim pants ($49), leather brogues ($59). Available: Joe Fresh stores at joefresh.ca.

Keep the paparazzi guessing with this Diesel hat ($69). Available: Style Exchange, 181 Yonge St, stylexchange.com.

Look like a million when you spent $19 on aviators. Available: Joe Fresh stores, joefresh.ca. ■

intorontomag.com

21


L I V I N G & H E A LT H

   

Falls in love

by Gordon Bowness

O

f course you have to do Niagara Falls, the Maid of the Mist, and the kitschy wonders in the town — especially with visiting tourists in tow.

plies the byways and back routes of Niagara in her capacity as “ambassador” for Steam Whistle Brewing. “Skirt around Hamilton, or at least exit at

explore and great beaches along the Lake Erie side.”

STREWN ESTATES

JORDAN HARBOUR

Hamilton

1339 Lakeshore Rd, RR3 Niagara-on-the-Lake strewnwinery.com Tour the winery and check out the restaurant La Cachette and its gorgeous patio. Try the rosé. TC

QEW & RR 26 JORDAN VILLAGE

RR 81 Antiques, wine, fruit, and Great Canadian Cheese Co, which produces a local favourite, Niagara Gold. TV

LAKESHORE ANTIQUES

885 Lakeshore Rd St Catharines A number of vendors and fun shopping. TC

MEMPHIS FIRE BBQ

1091 RR 81 Winona

QEW

When you need a delicious pork sandwich on the way out. TC

VINELAND ESTATES THIRTY BENCH WINERY

4281 Mountainview Rd Lincoln thirtybench.com (See sidebar)

3620 Moyer Rd Vineland vineland.com The food here is exceptional. Try the chardonnay. TC

THE SMOKIN’ BUDDHA

MORNINGSTAR MILL

2710 DeCew Rd St Catharines morningstarmill.ca

meal made right at the 19th-century mill. The drive there is spectacular, especially in the fall. TV TC: Toronto painter Tamara Crist. TP: Toronto graphic designer and Niagara Falls native Tim Prentice. TV: Fort Erie urban planner and Welland native Tom Villella.

HILLEBRAND WINERY

22

september 2010

VINELAND ESTATES

265 King St. Port Colborne thesmokinbuddha.com Down-home restaurant in a converted railway station. Watch huge lakers go by while sipping mai tais on the patio. TC


L I V I N G & H E A LT H

Genius in a bottle

In recent years the wines of Niagara have established themselves in much the same way that the wines of Napa, California did 20 years ago. The word Niagara on the label is now an indicator of quality and style at all levels of the price spectrum. Here’s a few of my favourite Niagara wines: Hopefully they’ll entice you to explore the Niagara region, or at least the shelves at your local LCBO. Number one on my list has to be Trius Brut, an elegant, traditionally made sparkling wine from Hillebrand winery. Its crisp, full-

MORNINGSTAR MILL

Niagara-on-the-Lake HILLEBRAND WINERY

1249 Niagara Stone Rd Virgil hillebrand.com (See sidebar)

THE SHAW FESTIVAL

Niagara-on-the-Lake (See page 41)

CASA MIA RISTORANTE

Niagara Falls INNISKILLIN WINES

Line 3 & Niagara Pkwy Niagara-on-the-Lake inniskillin.com (See sidebar)

3518 Portage Rd Niagara Falls My restaurant of choice. Good Italian food and atmosphere. TC

BEER GARDEN KARAOKE PATIO

4945 Clifton Hill Niagara Falls People from all over the world get up to sing for your entertainment. TP

FORT ERIE

Last stop QEW Check out the huge mansions from when wealthy Americans had summer homes along the river, Niagara Blvd north of the Peace Bridge. Or head downtown to the Old Bank Bistro (41 Jarvis St) for crab cakes. TC

by Alun Bowness

CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES

1025 York Rd St David’s chateaudescharmes.com (See sidebar)

REG’S CANDY KITCHEN

Underneath the Rainbow Bridge Niagara Falls Best peanut brittle ever. TP

Canadian, making it the ideal choice for Canada Day or any other day for that matter. Next would be Equuleus 2007 Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard (from Château des Charmes). Although the name is impossible it is only made in “exceptional vintages,” you have time to learn the pronunciation between releases. Made from a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc, this wine has an opulence that would please the most demanding palate and a price to match. Niagara riesling is always a favourite of mine and the Thirty Bench Beamsville Bench Riesling is a great example of the style I enjoy — dry and clean with a wonderful riesling nose and citrus Alsace, which to me says undeniably Niagara. Thirty Bench also produces an excellent red blend appropriately called Thirty Bench Red. The 2007 vintage was made from cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and a touch of merlot. Cabernet franc is ideally suited to the Niagara, however any red wine from the region, if blended, stands a better chance of being consistently good year after year. Yes, that means I favour Niagara red blends over single red varietal ing spiciness of the Thirty Bench Red provides proof of that particular pudding. Finally, what set of favourite Niagara wines could not include an icewine? For my pick I go with Inniskillin’s 2007 Niagara Peninsula Vidal Sparkling Icewine, which combines the luscious characteristics of their renowned Vidal Icewine with the sensparkling wine.

ALUN BOWNESS

is manager of specialty purchasing at Manitoba Liquor Marts

THE SMOKIN’ BUDDHA

STREWN ESTATES

intorontomag.com

23


the wine, the nightlife, the outdoors

N IAGARA

the one and only... So you think you know Niagara? Whether you long for fun in the sun, crave the flavors of award winning wines, or are looking for a more intimate adventure, Niagara always delivers. With over 60 wineries, miles of beaches and water front, theatres and entertainment, world class culinary artists and hundreds of natural and adven ture attractions, there is something new to experi ence every time you visit us. We have built Niagara to be a travel destination unlike any other. Come be amazed all over again!

these Niagara businesses would like to welcome you to the community HERNDER ESTATE WINES www.hernder.com : (905) 684-3300 MILLS MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT www.millsmusicniagara.com : (905) 341-2248 WHIRLPOOL JET BOATS www.whirlpooljet.com : (905) 468-4800 GREG FREWIN THEATRE www.gregfrewintheatre.com : (905) 356-0777 ENVY LOUNGE www.envylounge.ca : (905) 682-7774


  

The business of change Diversity in the workplace by Gordon Bowness

if this is just PR. Hopefully we get that message across.”

and trans initiatives, Paul Douglas knows that talking a good game is not enough.

put the message of gay, lesbian and trans inclusiveness front and centre six years ago. “One of his senior

from a mile away,” says the executive vice-president of business banking and chair of TD’s Diversity Council LGBT subcommittee. For the past four years, Douglas has spoken at Out on Bay, a conference promoting contacts among

never come out at work because his career would be damaged,” Douglas recounts. “So [Clark] announced to

but quickly expanding to include — and business professionals as a way of fostering inclusive workplaces in all sectors of the economy. Douglas says the students he meets there are like others trythey are looking for work, yes, but “I talk about our commitment to make change at the bank and our commitment to make change in the society. And I talk about our interest in these people becoming employees of TD Bank. they are listening to more than

AND WE SHOULD BE THRILLED TO HAVE IT ON OUR DOORSTEP.” - RICHARD OUZOUNIAN, TORONTO STAR

that he would not be the head of a bank where somebody felt that way. And he put it on the agenda. It was a complete surprise.” From manager training to the bank’s Pride Network, Douglas says that consistent messaging, both within and outside the organization, and education, from top execs to the grassroots, are hallmarks of successful diversity initiatives. “I have to tell you that the biggest surprise from day one was once you knock the door down, how friendly most people were on

DANGEROUS LIAISONS by CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON Directed by ETHAN McSWEENY With MARTHA HENRY, TOM McCAMUS, SEANA McKENNA, SARA TOPHAM BETHANY JILLARD, YANNA McINTOSH

9 $TI4 TS.* E K C

“SOLIDLY SEXY.” - J. KELLY NESTRUCK, GLOBE AND MAIL

- THE GLOBE AND MAIL A BOUQUET OF ROMANCES FLOURISH IN THIS MAGICAL FOREST

said this is unacceptable, and these are the values we have at TD Bank, most people were able to nod their heads and go, ‘Ya, that’s right.’ “At the time it was mostly the right thing to do as opposed to a business proposition. But you quickly realized both from a perspective of recruiting great peothat it’s a good business thing to do.” ■

OUT ON BAY CONFERENCE

Fri, Sep 24 & 25. Marriott Downtown. 475 Yonge St. outonbayst.org.

TD vice president Paul Douglas speaks at Out on Bay.

BEHIND THE WORDS

stratfordshakespearefestival.com 1.800.567.1600 TO SAVE, CALL OUR BOX OFFICE OR GO ONLINE WITH PROMO CODE 34603.

Bethany Jillard, Tom McCamus. Photo by David Hou.

A

s one of the people responsible for implementing TD Bank’s diversity pol-

THIS IS WORLD-CLASS THEATRE


LISTINGS & EVENTS

September Stars in Score: The Hockey Musical, TIFF’s gala opening (see Film & Video)

Kristin Hoebermann BEN HEPPNER Solo recital at Four Seasons Centre

Cylla von Tiedemann

SHAWN HITCHINS Demented musical comedy opens at Buddies (see Theatre & Dance)

NGOZI PAUL Stars in Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter previewing at CanStage

DE PROFUNDIS Lawrence Brose’s surreal feature screens at the Gladstone

PETER OUNDJIAN Conducts the TSO’s season opener

UNCLE BOONMEE

at TIFF Bell Lightbox

GALLERIES & MUSEUMS ALEX MCLEOD & JAKUB DOLEJS Spec-

tral, hyper-real digital prints by McLeod

sees Dolejs move from photography to sculpture to further explore his fascination with presentation. Noon-5pm. Wed-Sat. Closing Sat, Sep 25. Angell Gallery. 12 Ossington Ave. (416) 530-0444. angellgallery.com. DAVID HOFFOS Scenes from the House Dream, unsettling narrative photos by the Lethbridge-based artist. In the project room is Chris Chong Chan Fui and Yasuhiro Morinaga’s video installation, Heavenhell. Opening. 7pm-10pm. Fri, Sep 10. PWYC. 11am-6pm. Tue-Sun. Until Dec 31 (Heavenhell until Sep 19). MOCCA. 952 Queen St W. (416) 395-0067. mocca.ca. JULIAN SCHNABEL & SHARY BOYLE

Julian Schnabel Art and Film, a major retrospective on the interplay between

26

september 2010

Miral. Wed, Sep 1-Jan 2. Shary Boyle: Flesh and Blood a special exhibition featuring works in porcelain and plaster, oil paintings, drawings, and four large-scale installations by one of Toronto’s most exciting artists. $20 (free Wed eve). Wed, Sep 15-Dec 5. Art Gallery of Ontario. 317 Dundas St W. (416) 979-6648. ago.net. JANET MORTON & MÉLANIE ROCAN Shift, Return, new mixed media works by textile artist Janet Morton, and In Limbo, paintings by Mélanie Rocan. Opening. 7pm. Fri, Sep 10. 11am-5pm. Wed-Sat. Until Oct 9. Paul Petro Contemporary. 980 Queen St W. (416) 979-7874. paulpetro.com.

FILM & VIDEO TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The 35th annual celebration of Canadian 19 (there’s an extra day this year). The

fest opens with the Canadian feature, Score: A Hockey Musical directed by Michael McGowan (One Week), starring Olivia Newton-John, Marc Jordan, Noah Reid and Allie MacDonald. Featuring musical cameos by Nelly Furtado, Hawksley Workman and John McDermott. See page 14 for Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats. $20 regular; $38 premium. Single tix

DE PROFUNDIS

and curator Lawrence Brose’s celebrated 65-minute meditation on gay desire from 1997, based on Oscar Wilde’s infamous prison letter. A collage of lush handprocessed proscribed images. Brose now faces charges in the US for allegedly possessing illicit digital images. This screening, presented by Early Monthly Segments, is a fundraiser for Brose’s legal defense fund. $5-$10 suggested donation. 8pm. Tue, Sep 21. Gladstone


LISTINGS & EVENTS

in the City SHARY BOYLE Cool retrospective opens at the AGO

BANANA SHPEEL Cirque du Soleil opens at the Canon Theatre

SHINAN GOVANI Hosts Cinema Against AIDS at the Carlu

Ivan Otis Burden, 2009 © Rafael Goldchain

BLASTED Starring David Ferry opens at Buddies

earlymonthlysegments.com. TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX After all the TIFF hullabaloo dies down, the festival’s home base remains open. One of the iconoclast Apichatpong Weerasethakkul’s surrealist feature Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. An ailing old man in northern Thailand prepares for death and is visited by a succession of bizarre spirits including that of his dead wife, a princess who has sex with transformed into a monkey ghost with laser eyes. Weerasethakkul’s elliptical movies are not for everyone but this feature nabbed the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes festival. Also beginning: the Essential 100 series, free screenings beginning with Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960 modernist feature l’Avventura and

DANCEMAKERS Michael Trent and kg Guttman’s new works open at Enwave

Orson Welles’ 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane. In the gallery is Essential Titles, a six-minute looped projection by designer Barr Gilmore. Other commissioned installations are by James Andean and François Xavier, Guy Maddin and Atom

THEATRE & DANCE INHERENCIES AND OTHER DISORDERS

Three new dance works by Keith Cole, Lesandra Dodson and Darryl Tracy. $22. 8pm. Wed, Sep 1-4. Winchester Street Theatre. 80 Winchester St. (416) 323-1715. THE JUDY MONOLOGUES By Darren Stewart-Jones, with Philip Cairns, Ryan Fisher and Kimberly Roberts. $10. 8:30pm. Thu, Sep 2. Buddies in Bad Times. 12 Alexander St (416) 975-8555. artsexy.ca.

SHAWN HITCHINS IS A SINGLE WHITE DOUCHE Toronto artist Shawn Hitchins

presents his one-man musical theatre piece. Climate change, Mormon vampires, Marilyn Manson and Kylie Minogue. $10 adv; $15 door. 8pm. Thu, Sep 9-11, 16-18. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. shawnhitchins.com. BANANA SHPEEL Cirque du Soleil’s new vaudeville-inspired show written and directed by David Shine. Featuring Danny Rutigliano, Daniel Passer and Wayne Wilson. $25-$110. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 1:30pm. Sat. 1:30pm & 6:30pm. Sun. Tue, Sep 14-Oct 10. Canon Theatre. 244 Victoria St. (416) 872-1212. mirvish.com. RED BRICK: MICHAEL J. BAKER TRIBUTE

Chartier Danse and Arraymusic present a celebration of Canadian composer Michael J Baker with three world premieres

intorontomag.com

27


LISTINGS & EVENTS

In Spot Hyatt rooftop bar

I

’ve seen the Toronto International Film Festival grow from being the festival where celebs came to relax in a city that paid no mind at all to stars like Jodie Foster eating a burger on the sidewalk patio at Hemingway’s, to its current bloated swarm of photographers and gawkers craning to get a glimpse at Orlando Bloom or Sharon Stone. Because of its size (more than 1,200 members of the international press are accredited every year), it seems that all the restaurants, bars and clubs have a TIFF party every night. But where do the celebs really Yorkville haunts are Sotto Sotto for dinner, Amber for dancing and the Hyatt rooftop for drinks and deal-making. Of all three, the Hyatt is my number one favourite, by far the best place to spot the A-list movers and shakers in their most laidback state. Take the elevator past reception at the south end of the hotel to the rooftop bar located on the 18th

28

september 2010

by Anna von Frances

ine, seating a maximum of 20 people inside and an additional 20 outside, but it has spectacular views of the city facing south, and it’s where the top tier in the movie biz nip in to escape the roar of the fan fair on the streets. With its virtual jackpot of the who’s who in Toronto and at the festival, somehow the Hyatt remains casual and all business. Often, you’ll see TIFF codirector Cameron Bailey chatting with a seasoned actress, à la Stone or Jolie, while gossip columnist Shinan Govani snacks on roasted almonds and olives at the bar, or a Coen brother stepping out on the patio with a pal for a smoke. prefer regulars, so start frequenting now if you want to get a primo people-watching spot during this year’s festival. ■ PARK HYATT TORONTO

4 Avenue Rd. (416) 925-1234. parktoronto.hyatt.com.

and revivals from choreographers Peggy Baker, Serge Bennathan, Marie-Josée Chartier, Coleman Lemieux et Compagnie, James Kudelka and Heidi Strauss. : $22-$35. 8pm. Fri, Sep 17 & 18. 4pm. Sep 19. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. michaeljbaker.org THE GREAT FARINI PROJECT

Choreographer Sharon B Moore’s dance theatre piece is inspired by the true story of Canadian William Hunt, one of the most famous high-wire artists of the Victorian era. Starring Brian Solomon as Farini and Brendan Wyatt as his archrival, the Great Blondin. Part of Harbourfront’s NextSteps series. $34. 8pm. Wed, Sep 22-25. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. harbourfrontcentre.ca. Angelwalk Theatre presents a local Hunter Bell’s Tony-nominated show about musical theatre fans trying to put on a show. Starring Mark Allan, Jayme Armstrong, Justin Bott and Shelley Simester; directed and choreographed by Tim French (Altar Boyz). Previews Wed, Sep 22. $25-$45. 8pm. Wed-Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Sep 24-Oct 10. Toronto Centre for the Arts. 5040 Yonge St. (416) 872-1111. angelwalk.ca. FERNANDO KRAPP WROTE ME THIS LETTER Starring Ngozi

Paul (’da Kink in my Hair) and Ashley Wright (True Love Lies), with Ryan Hollyman and Walter Borden. A metaphysical fable exploring love, power and desire written by Tankred Dorst, one of the masters of contemporary German theatre, adapted and directed by Canadian Stage’s artistic director Matthew Jocelyn in his CanStage debut. A Canadian premiere. Price TBA. Previews Sat, Sep 18. Sep 23-Oct 16. Bluma Appel Theatre. 27 Front St E. (416) 368-3110. canadianstage.com. HARD TIMES Veteran theatre artist Chris Earle writes and directs this unusual adaptation of Charles Dickens’ exploration of class struggle. Produced by Puppetmongers in association with Night Kitchen Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille, the production mixes live performers and fantastical puppets. Puppet construction and performance by Ann Powell, David Powell and

STILLWATER FROST POND

Anand Rajaram. Price TBA. Wed, Sep 29-Oct 16. Theatre Passe Muraille. 16 Ryerson Ave. (416) 504-7529. THE CLOCKMAKER A

humble clockmaker tries to woo a married woman by building her the most splendid clock the world has ever seen. Bob White directs this world premiere by Stephen Massicotte (The Oxford Roof Climber’s Rebellion, The Emperor of Atlantis, Ginger Snaps). $23. Previews. Tue, Sep 14. $37-$44. Wed, Sep 22-Oct 24. Tarragon Theatre. 30 Bridgman Ave. (416) 5311827. tarragontheatre.com.

BILLY TWINKLE, REQUIEM FOR A GOLDEN BOY Wed, Sep 22-Oct 24. Factory Theatre. Factorytheatre.com. See page 37. BLASTED Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents the Canadian English-language premiere of UK playwright Sarah Kane’s controversial

escalates between a middleaged journalist and a young woman holed up in a hotel room as war rages outside. An armed soldier appears. Featuring David Ferry, Michelle Monteith and Dylan Smith; directed by Brendan Healy (see page 39). Set and costume design by Julie Fox, lighting by Kimberly Purtell and sound design by Richard Feren. (Previews Wed, Sep 22.) 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. Tue, Sep 28-Oct 10. Buddies in Bad Times The-

Alex McLeod’s specialatre. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. artsexy.ca. Dancemakers presents two new works inspired by contemporary social dance as expressed on YouTube and TV dance competitions. Michael Trent’s Show and kg Guttman’s So You Think the Spectacle Does Not Love You. With dancers Rob Abubo, Lori Duncan, Kate Hilliard, Kate Holden and Steeve Paquet, with musician Nicholas Murray and composer Reena Katz. $20$38. 8pm. Wed, Sep 29-Oct 2. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. harbourfrontcentre.com.

READINGS & LECTURES TERRACOTTA WARRIORS ALIVE Sit among the statues

in the ROM’s Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army exhibit as poet Gary Geddes, accompanied by

recites what he believes the warriors are saying. Evening begins with dinner at the nearby Dynasty Restaurant. $85. 6pm-9pm. Wed, Sep 29. Pre-registration required. Rom.on.ca/programs.

CLASICAL & JAZZ BEN HEPPNER

appearance at the Four Seasons Centre since 2006, the celebrated Canadian tenor performs a solo recital of Grieg, Sibelius and Tchaikovsky. Co-artistic director of Queen of Puddings Music Theatre John Hess will


LISTINGS & EVENTS

accompany on the piano. $22-$130. 4:30pm. Sat, Sep 11. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 3638231. coc.ca. TAFELMUSIK Lyrical Baroque, works by Telemann, Handel and others. Featuring clarinetist Eric Hoeprich and soprano Shannon Mercer. $33–$79. Wed, Sep 22-26. Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. 427 Bloor St W. (416) 964-6337. tafelmusik.org. TORONTO SYMPHONY OR CHESTRA

its new season with Mahler’s overwhelming Resurrection Symphony. With soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, mezzosoprano Susan Platts and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Peter Oundjian conducts. $48-$148. 8pm. Thu, Sep 23 & 25. Celebrated pianist Lang Lang performs Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 1 and Brahms’ Third Symphony. With Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute. $49-$179. 8pm. Mon, Sep 27. Then it’s pianist Louis Lortie’s turn with Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor and Chopin’s Andante Spianato and Grand Polonaise for Piano and Orchestra. With Robert Turner’s Opening Night and Mahler’s Symphony No 2. $32$141. 8pm. Thu, Sep 30 & Oct 2. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 593-4828. tso.ca.

POP, ROCK & WORLD ASHKENAZ FESTIVAL The

festival of Jewish music and culture continues until Mon, Sep 6. Brooklyn band Yiddish Princess gives Yiddish songs an ’80s power pop and arena rock makeover. Free. 11pm.

Sep 4. Brigantine Room. 235 Queens Quay W. A Night in the Old Marketplace is Frank London’s avant-garde opera. Yiddish ghost stories meet Tom Waits. 1pm. Sep 6. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. For complete listings ashkenazfestival.com. DIANA ROSS Miss Motown is still motoring. $67-$78. 9pm. Fri, Sep 17 & 18. Casino Rama. Orillia. ticketmaster.ca

CAUSES & EVENTS CINEMA AGAINST AIDS A who’s who of what’s what, from Graydon Carter and Alan Cumming to Douglas Coupland and Susur Lee, amass for this black-tie gala fundraiser for amf AR, the US-based foundation for AIDS research, and Dignitas International, the Canadian-based charity which promotes and researches HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and support in southern Africa. The series was launched by amfAR in 1993 at the Cannes Film Festival and has since expanded to include Sundance, Venice, Rome, Dubai and Toronto. Shinan Govani, Ciara Hunt and Elisa Nuyten head up the host committee. $1,000$2,500. 6:30pm reception. 8pm dinner, live auction and performances. 10pm lounge. Sun, Sep 12. The Carlu. 444 Yonge St. (212) 806-1636. amfar.org. (416) 260-3100 ext 115. dignitasinternational.org. CELEBRITY CHEF TOUR

Dinner by Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto, NYC) and Lynn Crawford and Lora Kirk (Ruby Watchco). A fundraiser for the James

Ghia; Adam Brazier directs. $27-$125. 8pm. Mon, Sep 13. Jane Mallett Theatre. 27 Front St E. (416) 366-7723. stlc.com. AIDS WALK FOR LIFE 2pm start. Sun, Sep 19 Church and Alexander. aidswalktoronto. ca. See page 8. SUE JOHANSON UofT’s Sexual Diversity Studies Program presents its 2010 Citizenship Award to the popular sex educator and author. 4pm. Wed, Sep 22. Croft Chapter House. University College. 15 Kings College Circle. (416) 978-6276. utoronto.ca/sexualdiversity. OUT ON BAY STREET LGBT business student conference. Fri, Sep 24 & 25. outonbay.org. See page 25.

NIGHTLIFE & PARTIES GRAPEFRUIT Boys on Film,

the TIFF edition of Shane Percy’s pop and retro dance party. With a performance by Donnarama. $10. 10pm doors. Fri, Sep 10. Fly. 8 Gloucester

In Toronto contributor Peter Knegt featuring a DJ set by John Cameron Mitchell. (in town with Rabbit Hole). with DJs Miss Margot and Colin P. No cover. 10pm Tue, Sep 14, The Beaver. 1192 Queen St W. (416) 537-2768. CHERRY BOMB Women’s party with DJs Cozmic Cat and Denise Benson spinning house, hiphop, electro and reggae. Free before 10pm; $6 after. 9pm-3am. Sat, Sep 18. Andy Poolhall 489 College St. (416) 923-5300. ■

In Spot Thompson Hotel

by Gordon Bowness

Michael Weber

Beard Foundation (education opportunities and support for culinary students). $200. 6:30pm. Thu, Sep 13. Ruby Watchco. 730 Queen St W. celebritycheftour.com. THE PRODUCERS Talk Is Free Theatre presents a host of theatre critics and producers as well as actual musical and theatre talent in a one-night concert version of Mel Brooks’ outrageous musical. A fundraiser for the Actors’ Fund of Canada (actorsfund.-ca). Featuring Richard Ouzounian as Max Bialystock and J Kelly Nestruck as Leo Bloom. Also with Aubrey Dan, Marlene Smith, Cynthia Dale and In Toronto contributor

M

odern design dripping with drama. Toronto has never looked as glamorous as it does from the rooftop pool

and Bathurst, the 360-degree view best (with a great view of the nearly tower), the red brick warehouses along King West, the Toronto Islands nestled surprisingly close by, the shoreline stretching west….

during the Toronto International Film Festival. With its foundaand LA (Hollywood Roosevelt) the following among entertainment types looking for luxury without the

of a recent expansion (now with 10 properties and one set to open

from Las Vegas to Seoul. In Toronto, the rooftop bar (with

lobby bar, with its black-and-white mural of TO’s skyline by Spanish artist Javier Mariscal and reams of uplighting, makes for swellegant cocktails. Beside it is the fancy Scarpetta restaurant, with curlicue banquettes, oversized chandeliers and, outside, next to a water fountain that turns into a small skating rink in the winter, a long communal table that overlooks the neigh -

ished; everything, including the new Wabora Japanese restaurant, should be up and running by the Also check out the funkier lounge, 1812, tucked downstairs. If you aren’t a lucky guest and can’t stargaze from the rooftop bar, there’s always the 24-hour diner, they seem nice there, so refrain from rehearsing the diner scene from Five Easy Pieces while waiting for Jack Nicholson to show up. ■

by Studio Gaia, a New York-based award-winning hotels and nightclubs

550Wellington St W. (888) 550-8368. thompsonhotels.com.

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    

Who’s Zumba-ing who? Getting in shape can be a party by Michael Pihach

W

hen planning a birthday party, some people hire clowns, magicians or, if the occasion is right, an arousing and dance instructor Hugo Lopez. the business of throwing dance parties that simultaneously sculpt, shape and tone the body. “It’s about doing cardio without realizing you’re doing it,” says Lopez. He’s talking about Zumba, the latest calorie-burning dance program to win the hearts and dancing feet of gym enthusiasts across Toronto.

rhythms and resistance, targetting all muscle groups. “I may get my class to do a simple Latin sidestep, except I’ll turn it into a squat,” says Lopez. Most participants are middle-aged women, says Lopez, but men are catching on. “Do it once,” he says, “you’ll be hooked.” Originating in Cali, Colombia, Zumba was created by choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez in the mid-’90s. According to Zumba’s website, Perez was on his way to a ized he had forgotten his regular aerthe choreographer searched his bag, grabbing whatever cassette tapes he

with high-energy Latin and international beats to make working out marked, incorporates a variety of Latin-inspired dance moves, bortango, samba and salsa, plus bhangra and even belly dancing. plete Zumba’s training program are allowed to teach. dance,” says Lopez, a freelance Zumba instructor who teaches at gyms and dance studios in Toronto. His class, which runs an hour long, incorporates interval training with fast and slow

salsa and merengue. Perez had difto non-traditional aerobics music, Latin dance. Zumba was born. No dance experience? No problem. “You learn on the spot,” says Lopez, who once led a Zumba class at a conversation circle for nonEnglish speaking immigrants at a Toronto community centre. Its also be a great ice-breaker at meetings, says Lopez. “It’s like throwing ■

credit

Where to Zumba IZZY FITNESS 91 Scollard St, # 3 zumbaintoronto.com YONGE STREET FITNESS 7 Isabella Street ysfc.info GOODLIFE FITNESS (select locations) EXTREME FITNESS (select locations) TORONTO DANCE SALSA

GYM DANCE CRAZE

work-out trend.

Latin moves spice up a new

torontodancesalsa.ca


DisplayCase

No more wire hangers ever… unless

by Gordon Bowness

From drag queens to designers, the 1981 camptastic Joan Crawford biopic Mommie Dearest continues to enthrall. Based on a tell-all book by Crawford’s adopted daughter the most cited scenes features Joan castigating a hapless Christina for hanging expensive gowns on wire hangers. Well, some people never learn. MOMMIE DEAREST FANCY BROOCHS

Barbie’s Basement Jewellery celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Founded by designers Robin Woodward and Ange Beever (aka cabaret artists Trixie and Beever), the Toronto-based company churns out an endless array of pretty and camp jewellery and accessories — whatever your pop cultural references, they’re brooch is made from a glass image bead with handset Swarovski crystal starburst (shop.bbj.ca). BBJ is also doing all the TIFF-logo swag this year for the Toronto International Film Festival and designs celebrating the TIFF Bell Lightbox Tim Burton show later in the fall.

British furniture and product designer Jade Barnes-Richardson admits to Mommie Dearest as one of her research points when making her welded wire (okay, Hang-On hangers are available from Normann Copenhagen (normann-copenhagen.com); free-standdirectly from Barnes-Richardson (jadebarnesrichardson.com).

MOMMY DEAREST RUGS

Toronto designer Bev Hisey was inspired by both Christina’s memoir and by NYC drag queen Lypsinka’s homage to create her hand-knotted rugs with silk-knotted wire hanger patterns. Her amazing textiles include ant pillows, dirty dish rugs and abstract die-cut runners. Available at Hollace Cluny (hollacecluny.ca), Made (madedesign.ca) and Klaus by Nienkamper (klausn.com), or directly from the designer (bevhisey.com).


L I V I N G & H E A LT H

Neighbourhood in focus Parkdale by Richard Silver

T

he up-and-coming neighbourhood that never came… Parkdale. Years ago, when I was starting my real estate career and you were not even born (yes, that long ago) the “up-and-coming” neighbourhood talked about as the next Cabbagetown was Parkdale. I checked Parkdale out at the time, loved the great Victorian houses, liked the reasonable prices and saw great potential as a neighbourhood. I showed those houses, sold some of them, and have been waiting for years for the area to really soar. I’m still waiting. Entry to the Parkdale market has always offered value but reselling a substantially renovated property has always been the challenge.

TLC_Pr005_InTO-1_8H-V2.indd 1

The Good: Great proximity to High Park, Roncesvalles shopping and Liberty Village as well as 24-hour transit and some of the best Victorian homes in the city. The Bad: The area is still rough along the edges and you may not see the return on investment that you would in other neighbourhoods. Parking is a premium in this area, as in all areas that predate the automobiles; however the large number of rental apartments makes it even worse. So love it for the housing stock and the proximity to a lot of what is great about Toronto. But as far as a long-term investment is concerned, you will be waiting like I am.■ RICHARD SILVER is a salesperson with Bosley Real Estate and blogs at torontoism.com.

10/06/18 12:31 PM

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ART & DESIGN

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Meta-marionette

A puppeteer manipulates a puppet of himself manipulating other puppets by Serafin LaRiviere Trudie Lee “It’s almost like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol done in a big gay way,” says Ronnie Burkett of his new show Billy Twinkle, Requiem for a Golden Boy. In a departure, Burkett will also play a character in

PINOCCHIO’S MIDLIFE CRISIS

W

hen I was a kid, puppet shows generally meant little foam elves prancing through a cardboard forest, or Casey and Finnegan learning their numbers on Mr Dressup. Years later, when I saw a puppet show called Tinka’s New Dress, I fully expected a nostalgic indulgence in childhood fantasy. What I got, however, were gripping scenes of poverty, death and sex, all created and performed by renowned puppeteer Ronnie Burkett. It’s easy to become immersed in Burkett’s surreal world, inhabited by intricately crafted mario-

nettes brought to life by their boyish blond master. Burkett deftly moves his creations across the stage, giving distinct voices and personalities to characters that feel every bit as real as live actors. Burkett built on Tinka’s international success, creating a followup trilogy with Streets of Blood and Happy. He toured them around the globe, later adding Provenance and 10 Days on Earth to his body of work. Billy Twinkle, Requiem for a Golden Boy is Burkett’s newest creation, and somewhat of a departure. The play will, of

course, feature his breathtaking puppet designs, but Burkett will also be portraying Billy Twinkle, a character of flesh and blood. Billy is a middle-aged cruise ship puppeteer facing career ruination after a particularly rough gig. He stands on the ship’s deck, ready to embrace oblivion in a watery grave, when his long-dead mentor appears in hand-puppet form to talk him out of it. “It’s almost like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol done in a big gay way,” says Burkett. “Billy and his mentor look back and visit his life through a marionette show.” Amazingly, many of the scenes involve Billy manipulating a marionette of himself, who is in turn manipulating tiny marionettes. Like all of his productions, Billy Twinkle draws heavily from the artist’s own musings and personal experiences. The music is by Burkett’s life partner, Toronto jazz treasure John Alcorn. “There’s more of me in this show than ever before,” says Burkett. “It struck me one day that everybody is always in the middle of something, be it life, university, dying or a career. Being in the middle is a universal theme.” He draws on the changes he’s observed in his career and social life as he approached both the 25th anniversary of his theatre company and his 50th birthday. “I was feeling invisible,” he says, “especially in the gay community where, God forbid, you should age.” And while Burkett always enjoyed support from both the theatre and puppetry communities, he was aware that his position had shifted somewhat over the years. “Everyone wants the hot young

thing,” he says. “But I was reading composers, painters and authors hit their stride in their 50s. It was like a voice in the wilderness saying, ‘You’re not even started yet!’” Middle-aged or not, this new show promises to be every bit as physically challenging as any of Burkett’s previous works. One sequence features a marionette executing a full-on burlesque striptease — an act that required special training from an 80-yearold puppet master in Los Angeles. “The puppet sings this gypsy operetta number as she takes off her stole, then her gown, then her corset and finally her bra. She holds each piece in her hand and then throws it out into the audience.” It’s definitely adult theatre, something that Burkett finds himself frequently at pains to elucidate when explaining his work to the uninitiated. “I think my last gasp on this earth will be me, meeting a stranger on the street, telling them I’m a puppeteer, and having them think I do these squeaky voices for kid shows,” he sighs. “Every theatre still gets calls from people ordering children’s tickets or parents saying it’s alright because their eight-year-old is very sophisticated. “But why would you want them to be sophisticated? Why would you force adult emotional and political content on them? Let them be eight!” ■

BILLY TWINKLE, REQUIEM FOR A GOLDEN BOY opens Tue, Sep 28 to

Oct 24 at Factory Theatre. 125 Bathurst St. $15-$48. (416) 504 9971. factorytheatre.ca.

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ART & DESIGN

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Look behind the curtain

Brendan Healy hopes to take Buddies into the future of now

by Byron Laviolette

T

Tanja-Tiziana

oronto’s gay, lesbian and trans community is changing, growing into the 21st

geographically around one locale, the Church-Wellesley neighbour-

A

outsiders. Buddies in Bad Times mier queer theatre company and home for queer culture,” is changing, too, under the guidance of its youngest artistic director yet, Brendan Healy. Healy is Montreal-born and trained (he attended Concordia and

t home, Buddies 2010/2011

chosen by Healy himself, last year was selected by Oiye before his departure) includes explorations of race, religion, war, struggle… the list goes on. “I like good work, of high quality, that’s innovating, contemson could be just that — the English Canadian premiere of Blasted, the

represents a wider, North American experience, having worked with both Richard Maxwell’s New York City Players as well as with avantgarde theatre artist Anne Bogart and the SITI Company. An unas-

of controversy, the late Sarah Kane. Full of overstated violence and violation, overwhelming shock and suf-

Healy seeks Buddies’ renewal, wantwhile building on the company’s easy part,” he says. “It’s just so strong.” Buddies in Bad Times was founded in 1979 under the artistic direction of queer artist and activist Sky Gilbert. Since then, through the subsequent leadership of Sarah Stanley and David Oiye, the company has developed and produced the work of theatrical innovators like Brad Fraser, Diane Flacks, Daniel MacIvor and, recently, the much lauded Waawaate Fobister. Despite Buddies’ previous successes, however, cultural and social contexts have radically changed. “Last season,” says Healy, “nearly every major theatre company in town had a gay play, or at least one with queer content. Our niche has evolved.” Healy seeks to give Buddies’ audi-

work with trans performance artist Nina Arsenault, whose works are being shared and savoured in places as unexpected as Whitehorse, Healy gets bold: “We’re going out into the world, and the world is coming to us.”

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s artistic director Brendan Healy wants the theatre to channel Toronto’s unique cultural dynamism to become a “beacon

ALCHEMY

of themselves, of their new selves.

mixed, along gender lines and sexual preferences.” He’s also reaching out, setting up new initiatives like the upcoming meet-and-greet series designed to open up the theatre, and himself, even further. A self proclaimed “culture vulture,” Healy understands that being a 21st-century queer means challenging more

uality. It also means questioning gender, religion, ethnicity and class. “I want to challenge the meta-narrative of what being queer means.” He feels Toronto’s gay community is “beyond coming out,” realizing that for some, “coming out doesn’t necessarily mean that life is good. I want Buddies to be a beacon to the world,” says Healy, “to have queer stories told here and produced here.

directs) a chance to explore what he calls Kane’s “profound disgust for the ways that humans sometimes treat each other and deep awe for the moments when an act of love actually does occur.” Healy, ever the mature thinker despite his youthful energy (‘I’m 35, real young!”), realizes that in order to take Buddies into the future, he will have to open it up to new artistic voices, new perspectives, while balancing the theatre’s operation with the chaos of artistic creation. But then Buddies has always been a wild ride, not just because Toronto’s queer community loves to party there, but because, as Healy puts it, “Buddies is more than a theatre, it’s about the trans-disciplinary.” It doesn’t get more 21st century than that. ■

BLASTED opens Buddies’ season on Tue, Sep 28 (see page 28). 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. artsexy.ca.

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2009


ART & DESIGN

S   F    

The Women redux

Two fascinating takes on sisterly love and bitchery

by Paul Gallant

David Cooper

I

Real Housewives series give each other a rough ride, let me introduce you to the ladies populating this year’s Shaw Festival. In two fascinating plays written and directed by and starring women, uneasy sisterly bonds are made, tested and broken. Age of Arousal wrestles with ways that women might set aside their rivalries and disadvantages to fully realize

the audience’s joy and challenge is watching the women’s desires and ambitions send them around and around in circles. anly distrust erupts when Rhoda and her mentor, played with playfulness and gravity by Donna Belleville, reach out to three sisters left destitute by the death of their father — and the dearth of cipated women want to show the sisters that it can be a woman’s world if they make it so. But

Women takes comedic pleasure in their failure (or perhaps their refusal) to do so. Written in 1936, Clare Boothe an upper-class Manhattan milieu that’s both privileged and brutal. (Boothe Luce herself wrote books and plays, edited Vogue and Vanity Fair, was a congresswoman and an ambassador and married two millionaires — hate her!) Society life is depicted as pure sport. Gossip and surface charm are the equipment; rich husbands the goal. William Schmuck’s set does an ingenious job of demarcating the playing

the cracks in their vision, and how tage the best intentions. At Shaw, female rivalry resonates from the Victorian era to the interwar years to now with Sharry Flett and Kelli Fox in Age of Arousal (top), and Moya O’Connell and Deborah Hay in The Women.

BELLE EPOCHS

of the beauty parlour’s lacquered counters or the couturier’s dressing-room mirrors blind as much as the glare of social judgment. Haines, the sweetest and most contentedly married member of a circle of socialites. Her hus-

Mary’s peers — I hesitate to call them friends — can’t resist letting her know. Mary is left to decide whether to follow her instincts and the advice of her mother, or to roll with the gossip hounds and ask for a divorce. When act two

fragette. (Interestingly, Kelli Fox, also doing double-duty at Shaw, plays the role of gender outlaw in both plays.) But Young’s Rhoda is much less passive, even if she’s just as confused. Set in 1885, Age of Arousal is a three-year-old work by Canadian playwright Linda

opens at a guest house in Reno, Nevada, where divorcees wait for their release papers, a contemporary audience might hope for some introspection, some sorority-like solidarity. But Boothe Luce’s characters remain committed to the is merely an opportunity for more partner swapping. Bitchy comeuppances ensue. sure Dorothy Parker was jealous — and the verve of this production’s enormous talented cast (20 actresses playing 35 characters,

directed by Alisa Palmer) makes all the cynicism a delight to watch; you admire the women’s audacity even if you don’t envy their societal roles. If Jenny Young somedecent Mary Haines, it’s because she is the straight man (comedically speaking) who must hold still while her colleagues bounce bon Young carries her goody-goody sensibility into Age of Arousal, where she plays Rhoda, the devotee and partner (in the vaguest modern sense) of a well-known suf-

much as Boothe Luce loves one-linace direction and the stellar cast come in, whipping the words into a dizzying poetry of torment, liberation and even laughter. Amazingly, is still able to craft suspense out of the future of feminism. ■

Age of Arousal runs until Oct 10 at to $65. SHAW FESTIVAL

Niagara-on-the-Lake. 1-800-511-7429. shawfest.com.

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ART & DESIGN

The light of Love & Rockets

Jamie Hernandez’s art and characters have inspired a generation

F

rom an early age until college, living in Sarnia, Ontario, I subsisted on a diet of mainstream superhero comics, lost in a state of post-puberty but pre-sexual suspended animation, where costumed fantasy, simplistic moral tle sequences, preferably inked by Terry Austin, were easily digested and understood. In my teenage orientation dysphoria, I embraced this formula for perhaps longer than I should

various Love and Rockets series, original comic art, sketches, early work, editorial illustrations and other commissioned work, including Hernandez’s collected run of his serialized “La Maggie La Loca” story that appeared in 2006 in the New serves as a detailed biography. For me, what has been particularly gratifying as a reader has been the

and his brothers devoured a crossgenre mix of Marvel and DC superhero and monster comics, slice of life “funny books” like Archie, Betty and Veronica, Dennis the Menace and Herbie, and Warren horror and Mad magazine fare. Hernandez’s style was an amalgamation of sevKirby and Steve Ditko is apparent, but so is Alex Toth if you look at

Death, assembled by noted comics historian Todd Hignite. It is a treasure trove of choice panels from the 42

september 2010

within a southern California Latino urban and suburban environment. Characters have entered a story arc, played an important role, then disappeared, sometimes for years, sometimes forever. Just like characters in our real lives. a very impressionable age, was the fact that Hernandez — in the early ’80s no less — chose to make his main female characters Maggie and Hopey bisexual and lesbian, respec-

Sheridan College in Brampton, a fellow student exposed me to the work of Jaime Hernandez, who would forever change my perception of the parameters and possibilities of comics. Hernandez fundamentally changed the face of comics and graphic storytelling forever. His style appeared almost fully formed from the very of his work on comic arts, and the work of his brother Gilbert, cannot be underestimated. Comics that followed Love and Rockets took on new narrative structures, showcased new kinds of story content, and fresh, creative execution approaches. By drawing his vision in black and white, magazine-sized, without the use of colour, Jaime Hernandez encouraged the reader to focus on the look, feel and atmosphere of the world he was creating. It suited the story he was telling. It also allowed you to appreciate the level of craft and economy of line he put into every artfully composed panel. Abrams Comic Arts has just released a comprehensive overview of Jamie’s life and art, Jaime

Hernandez wedded his interests in punk music and wrestling culture, peppered with a hint of fantasy-

MAGGIE THROUGH THE YEARS

Love and Rockets is a graphic soap opera spanning three

decades.

opportunity to witness the evolution of Hernandez’s work over an almost 30-year period. Because his characters lived in an approximate “real time,” they have aged along with me. Few cartoonists, save for Gasoline Alley’s Frank King, For Better or for Worse’s Lynn Johnston and a select few others, have chosen this tactic. Growing up in Oxnard, California in the ’60s and ’70s, Hernandez

Hernandez’s compositional strength and choice line work. One interesting revelation found in Hignite’s book is that Hernandez cites not Hank Ketchum, Dan DeCarlo and Charles Schulz as favourites, but their respective ghost artists Owen Fitzgerald, Harry Lucey and the animators of the classic Bill Melendezproduced televised Peanuts animated cartoons.

he depicted and acknowledged their orientation in a natural, subtle way, but not so subtle as to be discreet. He never sensationalized this aspect of the characters. He never used their orientation to titillate. It was what it was — acceptable and integral, yet subdued within the larger world populated by a supporting cast of more than 100 characters with whom Maggie and Hopey interact. As the story progressed, it was just one aspect of what made Maggie and Hopey seem so real to readers like me. Hernandez has been rightfully lauded for his handling of female characters in his stories, gay and straight. Maggie and Hopey were an enormously positive and proand importance of these characics during this era should not be undervalued. Hernandez, a straight man, gifted me with highly developed queer characters that helped


ART & DESIGN

me learn the truth about who I was as a queer man. I’m grateful to him for that. Hernandez’s Love and Rockets oeuvre is all in print, in various collected forms. A 30-year span is daunting to any new reader. Where that, as great as those early issues of Love and Rockets were to a freshfaced 18-year-old, I wouldn’t recommend a new reader to jump in there. Like any artist, Hernandez ’s work evolved, becoming more nuanced as the years progressed. I have a clear and sunny picture in my mind of a warm afternoon in the late spring of 1986, sitting on the porch of my parents’ newly purchased home in the Sarnia suburbs, with my latest stack of com-

I reached for was issue #17 of Love and Rockets. Part of the charm of reading this particular comic for so long has been the warm feeling I get returning to characters I have literally grown up with for decades. I remember thinking that life was good on that lazy afternoon, and almost 25 years later, I still get that familiar feeling whenever

I start reading a new Hernandez tale. Maggie and Hopey, Ray and Penny, Rena and Izzy are, and always will be, my friends. I treasure these stories like I treasure life. ■

JAIME HERNANDEZ: THE SECRETS OF LIFE AND DEATH Abrams Comic Arts. $50.

bees were buzzing nearby, but not too near, the stereo was playing a

FRIENDS

Choice panels include Maggie and Hopey consummating their relationship, the popular band cover and countless returning characters.

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ART & DESIGN

       

More than bricks & mortar

by David Rayside

NONDENOMINATIONAL

I

work in one of Toronto’s architectural treasures, and I’ve never stopped feeling lucky about that.

at the heart of the University of Toronto’s downtown campus. It wonderfully crafted detail. I love UC for its never-ending capacity to surprise. It was built in the 1850s, after years of controversy over whether the government should support

were other colleges with church ties already formed, or being planned; they hoped for a share of the money being held for the new University of Toronto. Anglican bishop John Strachan, a formidable political and religious force, described the very formation of University College as the great44

september 2010

University College’s unique history has helped spawn innovative thinking and a commitment to human dignity.

est abomination since the French Revolution. You have to see a portrait of him (one of which is in the college) to imagine the tone he would have marshalled to thunder that remark. One solution to the impending competition for government support was to consume the entirety of the provincial endowment in building a college on a truly grand scale. As John A Macdonald said at the time, “even Methodists can’t steal bricks and mortar.” So grand it became. It was partly Romanesque, partly Norman, partly Italian renaissance. It was deliberately eclectic, with constantly varying towers, window patterns, columns. European artisans were imported to create the kind of extravagant carved detail associated with great municipal or church buildings, though gothic

design was avoided because of its strong associations with religious architecture. Lots of the decoration is playful, and it’s hard not to imagine the architects (Frederic Cumberland and William Storm) and many craft workers smiling or occasionally laughing at the detail that they wrought. original. So is a lot of the brickwork — that warm yellow you see a lot in Toronto and that Cumberland dip at the Rosedale subway station. Some of the wonderful wood carving dates from 1850s. A lot is from original designs but recreated after in 1890; some of it newish from a major renovation during the 1970s. In three years of construction, -

the northern fringe of a Toronto that housed fewer than 40,000 people. It contained the entire university — two museums, the rooms, residence rooms, kitchen and dining hall. Many spaces are still used as they originally were: teaching is in a classroom across the hall that’s always been a classroom. Lots of the other functions have moved to other buildings, and new functions have been put into old spaces. acter of the college opened some doors to innovation right from the earliest days. Its most prominent founding academic leader was Daniel (later Sir Daniel)


Rear view of proposed University College by William Storm, 1855-56. Archives of Ontario, fonds C11, JCB & EC, Horwood collection

Wilson, who virtually invented helped develop the natural history and geology museums (the former in what is now West Hall) that formed cornerstones of the future Royal Ontario Museum. (I don’t want to overstate here: Wilson also opposed the entry of women to UC.) In more recent decades there’s also a gay story at UC. Douglas LePan was principal from 1964 to 1970, having had a distinguished academic and diplomatic career. He also won Governorpoetry, some of which was woven with homoerotic references and links to men. groups shaped by a new wave of radical gay activism met for the Toronto Homophile Association

country, and launched an almost unbroken history of queer activism on campus, now embodied in groups such as LGBTOUT. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, an activist group intended to supplement the work of that student group was formed at meetings held in the college. It pressed the university to expand its workinstitution that I know of that went beyond what the law then allowed by including pensions. In the mid-1990s, the Positive Space Committee was born in meetings at UC. Its little doorand-window rainbow stickers were never thought to be worldtransforming, but eyebrow-raising and question-asking. It was a catchy campaign that has spread to many institutions across the continent. Around that same time, early meetings were held up on the east lish an undergraduate program in queer or sexuality studies. No one in those “what shall we do” and “where shall we do it” meetings could have imagined that Diversity Studies would emerge as one of the world’s leading initiatives of its kind, headquartered in handsome spaces right down the hall. Doug LePan didn’t live long enough to see these changes. I’m hoping he’d have been proud and happy. ■

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Sex & Health

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WITH DR KEITH

I don’t want to hurt him. He also likes to strangle himself while jerking off. Why do people like that? It sounds dangerous.” Liam

reat question. Fasten your seatbelts, kids, let us now embark into the fascinating and undervisualized world of sexual masochism. Sexual masochism is excitement or sexual arousal by receiving real pain, ical or physical). Quite simply, getting turned on by being physically or

In this instance, the masochistic activity is what is known as autoerotic-asphyxiation (AEA), depriving the brain of oxygen during sex play. I have heard people who like this referred to as “gaspers.” It’s important to talk about something that is so very rarely discussed. (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual or DSM) includes AEA in its list of disorders called paraphilias (sexual arousal by things or persons that would be considered abnormal by most persons and lead to potential harm to that indi“disorder” is that there is potential for actual physical harm while engaging in it. Most of us have heard about INXS singer Michael Hutchence or actor David Carradine who allegedly died while engaging in AEA. At the same time however, I think pathologizing AEA and calling it deviant behaviour may be a tad bit unfair since there is also potential to do it safely. With Liam’s partner one can assume that part of the excitement is coming from being controlled and potentially harmed. In addition to the psychological factors, there is likely a strong physiological component as well. When the carotid arteries in the neck which supply the brain with blood (and therefore oxygen) are com-

ical jargon is called “hypoxia.” Lower oxygen and increasing carbon dioxide levels can cause euphoria, lightheadedness and increased pleasure by elevations in dopamine, serotonin tainly enhance orgasms in many individuals. Some questionable internet sources even make the bold claim that sexual hypoxia is more addictive than cocaine. Enough of the dry talk, talk, talk… back to Liam. You’re being asked to do something that could be seen as very scary. You should never do something you don’t want to. Consent is two-sided. Both of you need to know the risks and how the other feels. If you are not okay with this you should communicate gently to your partner and perhaps negotiate something where both of you would be happy. If you are okay with his requests then there are ways to make it more comfortable and safer for the both of you. Have safe words or signals. Be able to recognize the signs of something being wrong — therefore do it sober. Using your bare hands is probably your safest option since you can gauge how much pressure you are applying. Never use equipment like collars, ropes or belts that cannot be undone easily or are self-tightening, nor attach them to stationary or heavy objects (like beds or doorframes) since the risk of strangulation (or even hanging) is higher. And don’t be embarrassed — if something bad happens, consult medical advice immediately or call 911. ■ DR KEITH LOUKES works in emergency in a Toronto hospital • Send him your sexual health question at sexhealth@intorontomag.com.

This column should not be viewed as medical advice; always consult your physician.


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I. MAR GARET GRIFFITHS ’ hand-painted silk shift. Notice the length and tapering of the skirt at the knees. Margaret’s style is a great example of how well-chosen accessories can change a look. The choice of hat, shoes and pukka jewellery changes the perception from ladylike to amazingly cool.

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September -2010 - In Toronto Magazine  

Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto

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